Friday, June 24, 2011

Don’t Wanna Know You or Be Sober Enough to Try

Our ‘90s spiky punk binge concludes this week with Public Nuisance and their trashy Cheap Sex & Booze seven-inch. If you followed Profane Existence circa 1997, you might recall their ads for this record claiming that they would never release another band like this again. How pious of them. As if the PE Klan’s anarchist politics were sufficient enough to elevate them to a level above that of some rowdy NYC drunk punks or something. The ads did the band no favors, because most people who hadn’t heard them before probably just thought that Public Nuisance were a knockoff of the Casualties. In fact, it would be the other way around.

This merry band of drunk punks came out of the Lower East Side in 1987, standing against the rising tide of youth crew jock bullshit by describing their music as “crooked edge” hardcore. If you were a self-respecting punk rocker in the late ‘80s New York scene, you probably took part in shows organized by a group called Squat or Rot. As you might guess, these were a bunch of crusty squatters making the most of their existence by putting on shows and pressing records. Public Nuisance took part as well, and also helped organize the annual Beer Olympics, which was an infamous punk fest (and drinking contest) taking place at the end of the summer. If anything, members of the Casualties were more than likely inspired by seeing Public Nuisance play. It just so happens that the Casualties were able to get their records released first. That’s life.

I’ve never checked out any of the other Public Nuisance records, but Cheap Sex & Booze is dirtier and meaner-spirited than anything the Casualties ever released. There’s more mold on the guitar. You can almost smell the stale alcohol and the decay of pre-Giuliani New York emanating from the grooves. Get fucked here.

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